Journal of Research in Reading (2006)

The Journal of Research in Reading provides an international forum for researchers into literacy. It is a refereed journal principally devoted to reports of original empirical research in reading and related fields such as writing and spelling. The Journal welcomes papers researching issues related to the learning, teaching and use of literacy in children or adults in a variety of contexts, with a particular focus on psychological, cultural and educational approaches. The Journal encourages papers within any research paradigm and from researchers in any relevant field.

 

The efficacy of computer-based supplementary phonics programs for advancing reading skills in at-risk elementary students

Paul Macaruso, Pamela E. Hook, Robert McCabe
 

Abstract

In this study we examined the benefits of computer programs designed to supplement regular reading instruction in an urban public school system. The programs provide systematic exercises for mastering word-attack strategies. Our findings indicate that first graders who participated in the programs made significant reading gains over the school year. Their post-test scores were slightly (but not significantly) greater than the post-test scores of control children who received regular reading instruction without the programs. When analyses were restricted to low-performing children eligible for Title I services, significantly higher post-test scores were obtained by the treatment group compared to the control group. At post-test Title I children in the treatment group performed at levels similar to non-Title I students.

 

Key Findings

  • Title I students in the Lexia group made significantly greater gains than Title I students in a control group on the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test, Level BR (Beginning Reading), which measures letter-sound correspondences for consonants and vowels, and basic story words.  Moreover, Title I students in the Lexia group closed the performance gap when compared at post-test to non-Title I students in the Lexia group. [Macaruso, P., Hook, P.E., & McCabe, R. (2006). The efficacy of computer-based supplementary phonics programs for advancing reading skills in at-risk elementary students. Journal of Research in Reading, 29, 162–172.]